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Grant Funding Part 2: Establishing Clear Goals and Objectives

By August 8, 2013August 17th, 2022No Comments

Grant Funding- The Importance of Proving SustainabilityIn our last post, we shared the importance of proving sustainability for your organization and project when seeking grant funding. If you missed it, you can read it here.

Now let’s move on to another critical aspect in obtaining grant funding for your organization and projects: establishing clear goals and objectives.

Establishing clear goals and objectives serves two purposes:

  1. It gives you a clear sense of purpose and helps keep you on track.
  2. It shares your vision succinctly with those who want to partner with you.

As more and more funders want to know what you will accomplish with their money, it is important to be clear about your goals and objectives.  Before they invest in you, they want to be sure you are fully invested and you are clear on what you want to accomplish as well as have a plan to get there. Many people get the two terms, goals and objectives, confused, so let’s begin by defining them for use in grant writing or program development.


A goal is an overarching accomplishment for the program/project/organization.  There may be many steps that are required to actually reach the goal.  Ask yourself:  “What do we want to accomplish?” Many people refer to the acronym SMART Goals to remember how to set realistic goals.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals include:

  • S-Specific: This is where you define what you are doing and who is involved in the process.
  • M-Measurable: How will you measure when the goal has been met?
  • A-Achievable: Is this something that can be achieved with the resources you have or are seeking?
  • R-Relevant: How will this help the overall organization?
  • T-Time-bound: Have a date for completing the project


Objectives are the steps that must be taken to reach the goal.  So once you have established your goal, you then break that goal down into the steps needed for completion. Objectives are also most effective when they are specific and measurable.  Ask yourself:  “How will we accomplish the goals that we have set?” Be as clear as possible in what is needed to get from Point A to Point B.

In other words, the goal is what you strive toward and the objective is a specific action toward that goal.

When writing grant proposals, too often people develop many goals and objectives.  It is best if you can keep the goals limited to one or two and objectives to just a few as well.  The more that you include in your proposal, the more the funder will expect you to accomplish.  When it comes to seeking grant funding it is better to “under-promise and over-deliver” than it is to fall short. Being able to add accomplishments in your reports to funders is much better than having to report that you did not accomplish all that you said you would.

The Faith Based Nonprofit Center is here to help with all your grant funding questions. If you need clarity on anything you have read or would just like some help getting those goals moved over to the “achieved” column, we are here to help!

Photo Credit: SophieG

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